Murals bring street art to Manual Arts High School

On Feb. 20, Manual Arts Senior High School hosted the “2020 Visionaries” project. Twenty street artists from across Los Angeles painted murals on the school’s grounds.

Art teacher John Latsko describes the event “In His Own Words.”


  1. Christine Trang says:

    Beautiful pictures! Love the different angles you took. Thank you for the report!

  2. I am always amazed by the power and beauty of art projects like this one. Art has a way of bringing people together – it’s a common language and a unique way for each individual to express him/herself. Thanks for the article.

  3. Suchi Branfman says:

    What a great project! I am so glad to have had the opportunity to hear about the interface between Los Angeles based artists and the students at Manual Arts. Wouldn’t it be great if more of this could happen! Thanks for reporting on this extremely important, newsworthy, and inspirational project.

  4. alan nakagawa says:

    Looks like a great project. I especially enjoyed the decision to not use drop cloths. I love the residue of the paint on the floor. It really gives energy to the work and sustains a sense of “LIVE”. Awesome!!!

  5. As an architect and mother of LAUSD students, I’m delighted to see art in the schools – it looks really great!

    Having said that, I’m hoping that the pigs in suits or other negative imagery phase themselves out naturally. Perhaps the students could design the murals next time?

  6. Sabrina Artel says:

    Thanks for sharing this mural project that includes dialogue between the “outside” and the “inside” communities around ideas of sharing images. Including the students visual language with that of the known street artists seems a wonderful way to increase an expansion of conversation between the communities.

  7. Catherine, Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story. The project looks amazing! Question for you, how did you find out about this project in advance to cover it for Intersections? I’m a journalism student at USC and would love to report on projects like this in the future. Thanks again for the story, you did a great job!

  8. Catherine Cloutier says:

    Hi Kelsey!

    I actually stumbled across this story when I was at Manual Arts covering another story. It was pure luck, but it worked out for me.

    If you would like to cover South LA, I could add you to my reporters list for Intersections. I send out a weekly email with story ideas like this one.

    Let me know! My email is cloutier[at]

    Thanks for the comment!

  9. john latsko says:

    First! Thank you Catherine Cloutier! Looks so great to have our art experience celebrated online like this! and i’m so impressed reading everyone’s comments. weeks now since the ’20/20 Visionaries’ the excitement continues to grow. we’ve had students in front of the murals outdoors, sketching! we’ve heard them in dialogue about content and technique. guests to the school have been immediately ushered to the walls to share in the thrill! i hear faculty colleagues imagining outloud the ways that they plan to incorporate the artwork. and i can testify to the fact that these huge demonstrations of shape and color are breathtaking, even at seven o’clock in the morning! — making it a much better way to start the day.
    we’re excited to discover how fast word’s spread about the project — that MORE artists are interested in visiting our school. we currently have artwork on our walls from nearly forty-five different artists. and many of these are in direct ‘dialogue’ with student work – side by side and overtop, in interactive ways.
    i must add that we have an afterschool club at manual arts that creates murals on campus. their work is equally brilliant and captivating. the artist/teacher from the program lent his own hand in the murals on the twentieth.
    we look forward to further growth of the project. and appreciate the support of our colleagues and our administrators.
    manual arts is one hundred years old this year. it’s the oldest high school in LA still standing in its original footprint.
    jackson pollock and philip guston were students here together.
    we’re proud of our students and the fine work they devote to the walls. AND proud of the chance to witness their being inspired by all of the artwork inside and out – their own and that of our artist/guests. manual arts has become a museum for what’s real in art today, on the street, in our urban situation. a visual showcase. and the best part is it INCLUDES our students’ voices – right alongside!
    i think pollock and guston AND their teacher frederick john de st vrain schwankovsky are somewhere, very proud!

  10. Niki Latsko says:


  11. Harvey Chiles says:

    It is wonderful to see artwork outside of the context of the museum. I am in awe of your talent, your creativity, and this project!

  12. Jackie Schweiger says:

    SUCH A CREATIVE AND ENERGETIC PROJECT! I am so proud to see such outstanding endeavors by such an excellent art instructor. To see the murals each day must be such an inspiration to all that view them.

  13. im impressed i attend manual arts and i always hear negative things about manual ut for the first time we actually have something posotive and im an 10th gr. happy to say i attend that school and mr.lasko you rock (:

  14. The artwork on the walls is beautiful. It’s great to see the community working together with schools to motivate art and creativity.

  15. I find it a great initiative. I’ll include a part of your information for my university essay about Online Communication Channels. I hope it’s fine with you. I’ll make sure to include source.
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  16. there’s a wonderful new piece, on quite a large scale by the belgian artist “ROA”. it covers the south facing wall of one of the oldest buildings on campus, our auditorium. many agree that the mural’s impact is it’s sensitivity to scale and detail. the subject matter is native california fauna. skillfully achieved the mass of animals have their eyes shut. one wonders why of course. some in the community argue that a giant school mascot of the the outdated ‘tommy toiler’ suddenly replace the work. the community needs to understand the value. it’s about what nature should be here. would be here. funny, noone argues about the billboards and displays of consumption all around us in vermont square.
    just thought i’d let this crowd know what’s up. enjoy the incredible new work. maybe someone will take this up as a story.

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